International Consultant to Develop Minimum Standards for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Law Programs in the Maldives
The long-awaited Legal Professions Bill (Law no: 5/2019) was enacted in June 2019 creating an independent Bar Council for the first time to regulate the legal field. The Act mandates the Bar Council to draft legislations to regulate all matters relating to the operations and services of lawyers in the country, issuing of legal licenses, improving the quality of law education, providing additional training to lawyers, regulating lawyers, investigating and taking necessary disciplinary action against lawyers, ensuring the public has access to legal aid and representation and endeavor to develop the legal field in Maldives.
Among the many responsibilities of the council, reviewing the curriculum of legal education taught in the Maldives and standardizing it has been identified as key by the council and the law fraternity. Currently, there are approximately 1700 registered lawyers in the Maldives. Majority of the practicing lawyers obtained legal education from programmes offered in the Maldives, and strengthening legal education is key to improving the quality of the legal and justice sector institutions and the services delivered by them. In this context, Bar Council of the Maldives, with support from the UNDP Maldives, commenced the task of reviewing and establishing minimum standards for legal education at the end of 2019. All the bachelor of laws programs offered at the Maldives law schools were reviewed and a minimum standard for legal education for all bachelor of law degree programs were adopted by the Bar Council in March 2020. The proposed intervention is a continuation of the former exercise and will build on the previous report, to develop minimum standards for other levels of programs offered at the law schools, other than the bachelors level program. This will include all undergraduate and post-graduate programs to be offered at the law schools.
In view of the above, UNDP under its Integrated Governance Programme (IGP) with the Bar Council of Maldives is seeking the support of an international consultant to review the existing undergraduate and post-graduate law programs (with the exception of the bachelor’s level law degree) and develop minimum standards for these programmes.
 UNDP 2015, Legal and Justice Sector Baseline Study 2014
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the guidance of the Bar Council and UNDP, the consultant will lead the process of reviewing the legal education curriculums in use in the Maldives, for the below mentioned levels of education;
- Doctorate in Law (MNQF Level 10)
- Master’s Degree (MNQF Level 9)
- Postgraduate Diploma (MNQF Level 8)
- Associate Degree (MNQF Level 6)
- Diploma (MNQF Level 5)
- Advance Certificate (MNQF Level 4)
The tasks to be undertaken by the consultant under the Terms of Reference include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following;
Home Based (10 days):
- Conduct a desk review of existing legal education curriculums and submit an inception report outlining the methodology and approach for the scope of work including stakeholder mapping and general recommendations for the curriculums in line with international norms, standards and best practices;
- Review relevant assessments and follow up on their recommendations.
Home Based (10 days):
- Organize and conduct consultation meetings with relevant stakeholders including but not limited to relevant government institutions, judiciary, lawyers, academia, law students, and civil society organizations to better understand the current challenges and feasibility of recommendations.
Home Based (50 days)
- Based on the review of suggested policy directives from the Bar Council and key stakeholders and based on the inception report, submit a comprehensive assessment on the curriculums proposing recommendations and outlining possible constraints and possible actions;
- Submit the Final assessment reflecting the comments of the Bar Council and UNDP;
- Based on international models and good practices submit minimum standards for the curriculums, and the regulation on legal education for the Bar Council’s consideration.
Expected Outputs and Deliverables
All reports shall be submitted as stipulated below and all reports will be submitted as drafts and upon review by the UNDP and the Bar Council, the consultant shall revise the draft report. Once, the revised reports are accepted by the Bar Council and the UNDP, they will be termed as final reports by the consultancy.
The consultant will be responsible for the following deliverables;
- Inception Report: The inception report shall include a summary of curriculums reviewed, methodology and approach for scope of work including stakeholder mapping and proposed general recommendations for the curriculums.
- Consultations: Conduct consultation meetings with relevant stakeholders to learn about on-the ground practices including the challenges in implementation and monitoring and to discuss possible actions to overcome these challenges.
- Final Assessment Report: Detailed review of the curriculums, proposed recommendations, constraints with regard to delivery, and proposed actions to overcome the constraints identified.
- Model Curriculums: Based on international models and good practices submit minimum standards for the specified law programs for the Bar Council’s consideration.
The following table shows an indication of the duration for the deliverables;
Estimated Duration to Complete
Final inception report
Final Assessment Report
The consultant is expected to work with the Bar Council. The consultant will be accountable to the Programme Officer of IGP, for each deliverable as stipulated in the proposal. Fortnightly meetings will be held with the ARR and the Bar Council focal point. A briefing and debriefing meeting will be organized with UNDP senior management at the beginning and end of assignment.
Duration of the Work
This assignment will approximately take 11 weeks (70 days) and is expected to start in February 2021. The consultant should come up with a clear timeline while submitting the proposal taking into consideration the estimated time durations for each deliverable as stipulated above.
Duty Station: Home-based
 MNQF – Maldives National Qualification Framework Qualification Level
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards and acts in accordance with the Standards of Conduct for international civil servants;
- Advocates and promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favouritism.
- Knowledge about the UNDP programmes would be an advantage;
- Proven strong analytical abilities;
- Ability to work under pressure with several tasks and various deadlines;
- Ability to actively generate creative, practical approaches and solutions to overcome challenging situations;
- Excellent writing, presentation/public speaking skills;
- A pro-active approach to problem-solving;
- General IT Literacy
Required Skills and Experience
- A minimum of a masters or a bachelor’s degree in law, or other relevant field for the purposes of academic program development, accreditation and qualifications;
- A minimum of 15 years of professional experience working as a law professor
- A minimum of 10 years of professional experience in the justice sector or as a litigator.
- Experience in the region or similar context is an added asset
- Fluency in written and spoken English is required
Interested individuals must submit the following as proposals in order to demonstrate their qualifications.
- A letter indicating why the candidate considers himself/herself suitable for the required consultancy;
- Submission of an updated detailed Personal CV and P11 form which can be downloaded from http://sas.undp.org/documents/p11_personal_history_form.doc
- Financial proposal indicating daily consultancy fee in USD, air ticket cost and daily subsistence allowance in Maldives in case travel is required.
- Details of similar work/proof of work undertaken by the consultant
- At least two references from recent previous jobs or three references contact details
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